By Scott Cavanagh
George Bush, Dick Cheney and company spent the better part of last year warning of possible World War III scenarios resulting from an insatiable Iranian thirst to acquire a nuclear arsenal. At the same time they had, in their possession, the National Intelligence Estimate that debunked all of their claims.
Not only did the NIE (compiled through research from all 16 US intelligence-related agencies) state emphatically that Iran was nowhere near acquiring a nuclear weapon, it indicated that the country had given up its nuclear weapons program as far back as 2003. Of course this did not stop the president from trying his best to scare the American people into another bloody pre-emptive war of choice -- an effort that continues to this day. At the same time, the publication of the NIE was being held from the public while the administration tried to force intelligence officials to change and reword the documents to make them sound more supportive of the president's military plans.
When the results of the NIE became public last week (thanks to the demands of career intelligence officers) the president tried his best to have it both ways -- claiming that he had not seen or been briefed on the findings, but maintaining that he knew Iran was a threat. Based on what --his gut feelings?
As Keith Olbermann pointed out, that explanation proves Mr. Bush either incredibly incompetent or dishonest -- or both. He can't blame this one on the intelligence community, as he has done so many times with Iraq. The only trouble with this report is that he didn't manage to twist enough arms to keep it quiet. So, either he is dead wrong on Iran and has been blatantly lying for the past year, or he is an incompetent that doesn't even look at his own National Intelligence Estimates. Either way, his shortcomings have already resulted in disaster after disaster. Under no circumstances can we let our men and women in uniform be put in harm's way again because of the gut feelings of "The Decider."
Read a declassified version of the NIE.
Watch Olbermann's special comment from Thursday.
END OF POST
Friday, December 7, 2007
By Scott Cavanagh